United Israel Appeal

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United Israel Appeal is the principal link between the American Jewish community and the people of Israel.

United Israel Appeal (UIA), a subsidiary of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), is a link between the American Jewish community and the people of Israel. An independent legal entity, with its own US 501(c)(3) tax status and Board of Directors, UIA is responsible for the allocation and oversight of funds raised by U.S. Jewish Federation campaigns on behalf of Israel for use by its operating agent, the Jewish Agency for Israel. It also secures and monitors U.S. grant funds for the immigration and absorption of Jewish refugees and humanitarian migrants to Israel from countries of distress. It is with the Jewish Agency for Israel as its partner that UIA assists American Jews to fulfill their ongoing collective commitment to contribute to and participate in the upbuilding of the State of Israel. UIA has offices in New York City and Jerusalem.[1]


UIA’s principal objectives are to assist immigration to Israel through the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of the immigrants therein, and to aid charitable, educational and scientific institutions and Jewish-Identity programs in Israel.

In consultation with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and individual Jewish Federations, UIA nominates members and observers of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors (BOG), members of its committees and designates delegates to the Jewish Agency Annual Assembly.[2]

Allocation and evaluation[edit]

UIA provides grants, fiduciary oversight, allocates funds provided to it from donors, foundations, American Jewish Federations and JFNA.

UIA monitors and evaluates the programs operated on its behalf by the Jewish Agency for Israel.

UIA monitors the management of the educational assets and activities of the Israel Education Fund (IEF) as well as appointing members of the boards of the managing companies.


United Israel Appeal was first established in 1925 as the United Palestine Appeal (UPA) to unify fundraising in America for a Jewish national homeland. Its constituents included: Keren Hayesod, the fundraising organization for the Jewish Agency; Hadassah; Hebrew University; the Jewish National Fund and Mizrachi. UPA was dissolved in 1930 and reconstituted in 1936 by Keren Hayesod and the Jewish National Fund. In 1938, UPA entered into a partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to found the United Jewish Appeal (UJA).

UIA has undergone vast changes since those early days. In addition to the partnership begun in 1938, the most significant changes prior to 2000 came in 1971 as a result of the reconstitution of the Jewish Agency for Israel.[3] After the Reconstitution Agreement, for the first time, American Jewish leaders from federations, as well as all the American Zionist organizations, served as members of the UIA Board. The American Zionist organizations had seats on the Jewish Agency Board through their membership in the World Zionist Organization.

The Reconstitution Agreement led UIA to name the Jewish Agency for Israel as its exclusive operating agent in Israel.

In 1999, United Jewish Communities (UJC) was created as a merger of UIA, UJA and the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF), into a single, national organization. After this merger, UIA became a subsidiary of UJC, since renamed the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).


According to the most recent IRS 990 form, UIA distributed $197,289,000 during the fiscal year of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.[4]


UIA’s current chairman is Richard N. Bernstein of Miami;[5] whose term began in 2012. Rabbi Daniel Allen is the Executive Vice-Chairman.[6] The most recent past chairman is Bruce A. Arbit, Milwaukee. Other past chairpersons have included Richard L. Wexler, Chicago; Jane Fisher Sherman, Detroit;[7] Bennett L. Aaron, Philadelphia;[8] Shoshana S. Cardin, Baltimore.[9]



External links[edit]